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62 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2022 With environmental awareness at an all- time high, companies are looking for greener options in terms of the chemical products they use for the manufacture and protection of elec- tronics, including conformal coatings that are applied to protect the metal surfaces from cor- rosion, condensation, dielectric breakdowns, and that mitigate against tin whisker formation and conductive metal particles. Traditionally, these materials have been sol- vent-based, resulting in low viscosity, easy-to- use materials. However, the use of solvents has become more restricted and there is increas- ing demand for solvent-free technology. In this month's column, I'll be looking at a particular solvent-free coating group—UV cure coatings. I will examine the benefits that these particu- lar coatings bring to the production line and unveil test data to reveal their performance values. Can Solvent-free UV Cure Coatings Increase Stability and Throughput? What Are the Key Benefits of Solvent-free Coatings to Manufacturers? Aside from solvent-free materials being a smart choice, whereby solvent emissions from your facility will be much lower, there are cost savings due to compliance with legislative requirements, depending upon local, regional, and national legislation. UV-cure materials are also non-flammable and are a lower hazard to human health, resulting in potential cost-sav- ings on insurance. Oen, the energy demands required for curing these materials are much lower than for solvent-based materials, result- ing in reduced energy bills and reduced CO 2 emissions. But how do they perform? Solvent-free materials are generally applied slightly more thickly, resulting in increased coverage, and therefore greater protective capability. e formulations are also more modern and deliver Sensible Design by Saskia Hogan, ELECTROLUBE

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